Katie's Capstone

Philosophy of
Student Affairs
Culmination Paper
My Strengths




Legal and Ethical Issues

Budgeting and Fiscal Management

Counseling/Personal Development

Educational Mission and Process

Evaluation and Assessment

Moral, Ethical, and Spiritual Issues

Quality Programming

Visionary Leadership

Multicultural Awareness


Campus/Community Relationships

Managing Conflict and Crisis

Legal and Ethical Issues

In order to be a qualified student affairs professional, it is necessary to understand the legal foundations that influence the student affairs profession and services to students.  Federal, state, and constitutional issues and laws have an impact on higher education and the way that student affairs professionals can interact with students.  It is also important for students affairs professionals to understand contractual relationships and liability concerns.   

Accountability/Judicial Meetings with Students

Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference

Sexual Harassment Training at APU

Essays for Legal and Ethical Issues Course

Accountability/Judicial Meetings with Students:

Accountability/Judicial meetings are something that I also addressed in the competency on counseling and personal development of students.  I want to talk about judicial meetings in the legal and ethical section of my capstone because I believe that this aspect of my work with students encompasses both the counseling and legal and ethical competencies.  

From a legal and ethical perspective, I hold students accountable for their behaviors and decisions during judicial meetings.  Students are held to certain standards when they agree to attend an institution.  At both Cal Poly Pomona, Foundation Housing Service and Azusa Pacific University, I have had the chance to meet with students who have not followed behavioral expectations.  In these meetings, I help students understand why their behaviors violate school policy.  I also explain the reasoning behind policies.  I want to make sure the students I meet with truly understand why they are held to specific standards. 

As part of the accountability process, I have gained valuable experience in writing letters to students asking for a meeting, following up with them after a meeting, and creating sanctions they must fulfill because of their violation of policy.  By writing letters, I have come to see the importance of keeping records of all meetings and conversations had with students.  It is crucial that a paper-trail be up to date.  This gives me protection if a student was to ever question a decision that I made in the judicial process.

Below are links to various  accountability procedures and information that I have used in my time as an RD at Cal Poly Pomona, Foundation Housing Service and Azusa Pacific University.    

Judicial Procedures  - Cal Poly Pomona, Foundation Housing Service

APU Accountability Model

APU Student Standards of Conduct

APU Residence Life Policies

Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference:

In October 2004, I had the chance to attend the Legal Issues in Higher Education conference in Burlington, VT.  During this conference, I had the chance to attend seminars on access and equal opportunity in higher education since the Michigan cases, diversity in higher education, eating disorders, how universities are winning court cases, alternative approaches to student misconduct, crime reporting on campus, trends in sexual harassment, distressed and distressing students: mental health issues on campus, getting parents on board, and academic dishonesty.  As a conference attendee, I was given a resource manual including case studies, examples of various policies, session outlines, and bibliographies. 

This conference was a great opportunity for me to learn about legal issues surrounding the field of higher education.  I was challenged to think about my job as a Residence Director in the context of legal concerns of students, parents, and institutions.  There were two seminars that were particularly helpful to me: working with distressed and distressing students and dealing with parents of the millennial generation.  These sessions gave me tangible ideas that I can apply to my job.  For more information about what I learned at this conference, please see my action plan

University of Vermont Conference Site

Sexual Harassment Training at APU:

As a staff member at APU, I attended a training seminar on sexual harassment.  This seminar included the following: the definition of harassment and sexual harassment, what harassment includes, who is held responsible if sexual harassment occurs, a supervisor's role in reporting sexual harassment, who can claim sexual harassment, and confidentiality issues.  I also learned how to report sexual harassment at APU and how APU addresses these issues.  This training helped bring awareness about how sexual harassment may affect me while I work at APU.  It was useful in that I gained a better legal understanding of liability issues as well as knowledge of who to talk with regarding instances of sexual harassment.    

Certificate of Sexual Harassment Training

APU Sexual Harassment Workshop information

Essays for Legal and Ethical Issues Course:

As part of the requirement for my Legal and Ethical Issues in Higher Education course, I wrote several essays on various legal topics.  These essays helped further my understanding of legal issues directly affecting the field of Student Affairs.  In order to research for these essays, I had the opportunity to investigate recent court cases, school policies, and other resources discussing legal issues in higher education.  I wrote on the following topics: contract theory, alcohol on college campuses, student handbooks, crisis planning, the first amendment, Title IX, computer use policies, and mental health issues.


Back to Top